The mayor of St. Louis Park, Minnesota, said Wednesday on "Fox News @ Night" that he wants the city council to reverse a controversial decision to stop reciting the Pledge of Allegiance before meetings.
The council touched off anger in the community with a recent unanimous vote to stop saying the Pledge of Allegiance, prompting about 100 protesters to show up to Monday night's meeting to voice their opposition.
"I would like to see the pledge brought back, I've been clear with my colleagues about that and that's what I think this conversation is going to be moving forward," Mayor Jake Spano said.
"It will include that discussion about do we bring the pledge back, don't we, and what other ways can we express our patriotism," he added.
The decision was announced by the St. Louis Park City Council after a unanimous vote on June 17. The amendment to the council's rules was characterized as an effort to serve a more “diverse community."
“We concluded that in order to create a more welcoming environment to a diverse community we’re going to forgo saying the Pledge of Allegiance before every meeting,” Council Member Tim Brausen said ahead of the vote.
Council member Anne Mavity, who sponsored the rules change, told KARE 11 that she didn’t feel saying the pledge was necessary, especially for non-citizens.
"Not everyone who does business with the city or has a conversation is a citizen," she said. “They certainly don't need to come into city council chambers and pledge their allegiance to our country in order to tell us what their input is about a sidewalk in front of their home.”
The meeting to reconsider the controversial change was held on Monday, as nearly 100 citizens waved American flags and chanted "USA!" and the pledge itself in a bid to convince the council to reverse course. The meeting ended with no clear resolution on the matter, as the members planned to study the issue further.
Spano told Shannon Bream he's been getting emails and phone calls from all over the country on the issue.
"It certainly has taken on a life of its own, I felt like the mayor of America," he said, adding that he is not hearing from residents that they're "uncomfortable saying the pledge."
"One gentleman, for example, told me he recently went to a sports event with his wife and said 'we stood for the national anthem and put our hands on our hearts. And sang a song and it made us feel more included and more welcome in that space,'" Spano recalled.
He emphasized that St. Louis Park is a "fabulous community filled with a lot of people who are very patriotic and love their country" and the city is starting a "discussion" on how to display patriotism.
President Trump tweeted his support for the protesters on Thursday morning, writing that "people are sick and tired of this stupidity."